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4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Domain Name for Your Website

Expert Tips for Choosing a Domain Name for Your Website

 

Having an online presence is crucial in this day and age, and the importance of your domain name calls for both inspiration and careful thought. Stories of people choosing a domain name they later regret are far too common to ignore. Your domain name is your website’s calling card. And while it may not necessarily make or break your business, the name you choose will undoubtedly impact your exposure and accessibility.

Successful names are simple yet memorable, trustworthy, resonant with its brand, and consistent with its content. At first, it may seem like all the good names are taken. With over 339-million registered domain names worldwide, choosing one that stands out seems like a daunting, nearly impossible task. There are, however, a few considerations that will help weed out the less effective names to focus your attention on ones more likely to bring success to your website.

Prioritizing the Human Touch in Your Domain Name

A general measure of an effective domain name is its simplicity. Domain name lengths for the world’s most popular websites average about six to 10 characters. However, simplicity doesn’t always mean it’s memorable. It’s essential to find the sweet spot between concision and voice that reflects the tone of your website.

A few good rules to keep in mind: Your domain name reflects clear and straightforward readability, does not include hyphens, numbers, or underscores and is no longer than two or three uncomplicated words. While useful when refining your list of possible name ideas, these are not hard and fast rules. There are definitely successful websites with domain names that don’t follow all these standards. It’s about finding a name that’s easy, intuitive, and striking.

Keeping in Mind Your Domain’s Searchability

Including keywords in your domain name is beneficial. Keywords are helpful for potential visitors to better understand your website’s focus. To start, generate a list of words relevant to your business, website, and content and check out sites like Google Keyword Planner and Keywordtool.io to explore the most popular words related to your specific content. If you do choose to use a keyword in your domain name, it’ll be most effective for your ranking if it is at the beginning of your domain name.

The main thing to watch out for is bogging down your domain name with keywords. Doing so may actually make your website seem more generic and less credible. Especially as having keywords in your name doesn’t boost your rankings like it used to, you don’t want to risk boring or driving off those who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Still, with some sense and precision, including a keyword in your domain name will naturally direct more traffic to your website.

Choosing a Domain Name That Resonates with Your Brand

While it’s useful to have keywords in your domain name, ultimately your brand is more important. Your brand is what builds your audience’s trust and requires consistency, which is another reason choosing a solid domain name the first time around is key. The uniqueness of your domain name will add to your brand and help your website stand out from the rest. If you are having trouble coming up with something interesting and relevant, check out online generators such as LeanDomainSearch or Bust a Name for available domain names and ideas. Or, better yet, contact the professionals at Accunity for help establishing a digital branding and marketing strategy – including finding the perfect domain name for your business.

When thinking of your brand’s reliability, consider your domain extension. Since the beginning of the internet, “.com” has been the most popular extension and conveys the impression of legitimacy – especially in the United States. Other popular extensions include .net, .org, and .info, but oftentimes they vary in purpose. For example, “.com” generally represents commercial websites while “.org” represents organizations such as schools and communities. Newer extensions, such as .shop, .biz, .me, may be more suited for your website depending on your business name, genre, and content. You may also want to consider extensions according to country codes when choosing a domain name, especially if your content is specifically targeting those countries.

Swerving Legal Troubles

Doing the due diligence to avoid copyright and trademark infringement will save you time, money, and a big headache when it comes to choosing a domain name. A quick Google and social media search is a good start to finding out whether other businesses or blogs are already operating under your name idea. Once that’s cleared, perform a WHOIS search on databases like ICANN WHOIS to check the status of your domain name idea. Remember, if your name idea is similar enough to cause confusion with another website, it could land you in hot water. 

Once you’ve cleared your domain name from any legal murkiness, you can protect your own brand by trademarking and copyrighting it so others don’t infringe on your good name.

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